By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
Drew Noles unveiled the 2013 edition of Etowah football program in grand fashion last Friday (Aug. 30).
The visiting Blue Devils posted a 14-7 win over Alexandria at Lou Scales Stadium.
“We took some baby steps tonight,” said Noles, who gained his first-ever victory over Alexandria. “We have a young team and we need to get better.”
Etowah wasted little time in giving the visiting crowd something to cheer about, as the Blue Devils took the opening kickoff and drove 66 yards for the games first points. Featuring a mix of runs and passes, the seven play, 66-yard drive was capped by Devin Horton’s 27-yard run at the 9:24 mark of the first quarter.
Following the PAT, Etowah had a 7-0 lead that stood until less than three minutes remained in the contest. The young Blue Devil defense held Alexandria to only three first downs and 61 yards in total offense over the first 24 minutes of play.
“We missed some opportunities to score in the first half, when on at least two occasions receivers dropped sure touchdown passes,” said Noles.
Alexandria took control of the game in the second half, out-gaining Etowah 158 yards to -4 in total offense. The Blue Devils turned the Valley Cubs back on several occasions, however, and with 4:11 remaining in the game Etowah received the break it was looking for.
On fourth and 11 at its own 40-yard line Alexandria committed their only turnover of the game. Attempting to punt, the Valley Cub blocking back backed into the punter and inadvertently blocked the punt.
Etowah then took over on the Valley Cub 27-yard line and needed only three plays to find pay dirt. Following a penalty, Marquavious Britton dashed 14 yards for the score with 2:57 remaining. The PAT gave Etowah a 14-0 lead.
Alexandria finally dented the scoreboard with 1:48 remaining when Luke Tucker found Gabe Marchal on a 27-yard touchdown strike. The 65-yard drive took only five plays in 1:05. But Etowah recovered the on-side kick and was able to run out the clock.
With 11 seconds to go, Horton took a handoff and evaded the Valley Cub defenders to run the last seconds off the clock.
Etowah rushed the ball 33 times for 94 yards.
Kordell Rudolph was 9-of-15 passing for 68 yards with no interceptions. Etowah was led by Britton’s 69 yards rushing on seven carries. Horton added 33 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Alexandria was led by Alton Davis’ 79 yards rushing on 20 carries.
The Blue Devils begin their Class 5A, Area 7 schedule at home on Friday against Fort Payne.